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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 21, 2006 5:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

Q. Do you have an idea for a tune when you write?

RH. Always. Jerry prefers that i don't come up with my own melodies. I'll give him a lyric, then i'll put some more lyrics to his melody and record it myself. I find the less i influence him (musically) the better. I do not take any credit for the music.

Q. What do you think of all the adulation? The Dead Heads.

RH. It becomes sort of eerie after twenty years. I'm never comfortable with it. I don't mind reading it, but first hand, i feel like sort of a fraud. I do my best, but the adulation is a little out of line.

Q. "Eyes of the World" is a great song.

RH. "Eyes of the World" was quite mystical and, i think, a very right song for the late 60s and early 70s. Looking back on it now, it's kind of dated ...

Q. I don't think so.

RH. Well, it's a song about compassion, as i understand it. Being able to see things from someone else's point of view. It's always a right message, but it can be overdone. It can be made corny. Of course there are eternal verities. You can't avoid those too much if you want to say something.

Q. Would you call "U.S. Blues" a patriotic song or an ironic one?

RH. A little of all those things. I've found that the chorus, the energy you put into something often overrules everything else. "Steal your wife, run your life ..." But that can get lost ... Like "Ridin' that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better watch your speed..." When you start going over the details of it, it sounds like the national anthem for cocaine which, i assure you, is unintentional. That's been ridin' my back for years now.

Q. Can drugs be a catalyst for songwriting?

RH. Well, i'd be a damned liar to say that i've never ... but i don't tend to turn out my best material that way. I get much more high just out of a song that sounds high. Then i'm in touch with my own critical ability. Alcohol is very bad for songwriting.

Q. Is there a reason you don't write lyrics for Bob Weir anymore?

RH. Weir and i are just coming from very different places. I would work on a tune and i would make it real good, and he'd want something else entirely. So, i'd try something else entirely. It was a lot of work that way and often i would come up with a compromise. With Jerry, it's different, i can't say why exactly. Also, Jerry has the same folk-type background i do. He tends to like the same imagery. My idea of what a good song is, very much akin to his, whereas with Weir--he's just a different sort of creature.

This post was modified by Arbuthnot on 2006-10-22 00:58:55

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Poster: Cranky1 Date: Oct 22, 2006 6:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

Good insight into the process. Comment about Jerry's folk background speaks to the lineage and heritage of the Dead....beats to folkies to hippies....

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Oct 22, 2006 8:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

hippie...read interviews of jerry in the past,either relix or dupree's where he didn't really like being tagged as a hippie or in a hippie band.a beat,folkie or hillbilly i don't mind but a hippie i don't get,something to that effect.i for one never consider them a hippie band,not that there's anything wrong with that.kesey eulogy sums up jerry pretty good.

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Poster: as1307 Date: Oct 23, 2006 11:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

i'd love to take a look at the kesey eulogy. anyone got a link?

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Poster: mcglone Date: Oct 23, 2006 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

MESSAGE TO GARCIA

by Ken Kesey

Hey, Jerry-- what's happening? I caught your funeral. Weird. Big Steve was good. And Grissman. Sweet sounds. But what really stood out -- stands out -- is the thundering silence, the lack, the absence of that golden Garcia lead line, of that familiar slick lick with the uptwist at the end, that merry snake twining through the woodpile, flickering in and out of the loosely stacked chords...a wriggling mystery, bright and slick as fire... suddenly gone.

And the silence left in its wake was-- is-- positively ear-splitting.

Now they want me to say something about that absence, Jer. Tell some backstage story, share some poigniant reminescence. But I have to tell you, man: I find myself considerably disinclined. I mean, why go against the grain of such an eloquent silence?

I remember standing out in the pearly early dawn after the Muir Beach Acid Test, leaning on the top rail of a driftwood fence with you and Lesh and Babbs, watching the world light up, talking about our glorious futures. The gig had been semi-successful and the air was full of exulted fantasies. Babbs whacks Phil on the back.

"Just like the big time, huh Phil."

"It is! It is the big time! Why, we could cut a chart-busting record to-fucking-morrow!"

I was even more optimistic. "Hey, we taped tonight's show. We could release a record tomorrow.

"Yeah right--" (holding up that digitally challenged hand the way you did when you wanted to call attention to the truth or the lack thereof) "--and a year from tomorrow be recording a Things Go Better With Coke commercial."

You could be a sharp-tongued popper-of-balloons shit-head when you were so inclined, you know. A real bastard. You were the sworn enemy of hot air and commercials, however righteous the cause or lucrative the product. Nobody ever heard you use that microphone as a pulpit. No anti-war rants, no hymns to peace. No odes to the trees and All things Organic. No ego-deaths or born-againnesses. No devils denounced no gurus glorified. No dogmatic howlings that I ever caught wind of. In fact, your steadfast denial of dogma was as close as you ever came to having a creed.

And to the very end, Old Timer, you were true to that creed. No commercials. No trendy spins. No bayings of belief. And if you did have any dogma you surely kept it tied up under the back porch where a smelly old hound belongs.

I guess that's what I mean about a loud silence. Like Michaelangelo said about sculpting, "The statue exists inside the block of marble. All you have to do is chip away the stone you don't need." You were always chipping away at the superficial.

It was the false notes you didn't play that kept that lead line so golden pure. It was the words you didn't sing. So this is what we are left with, Jerry: this golden silence. It rings on and on without any hint of let up...on and on. And I expect it will still be ringing years from now.

Because you're still not playing falsely. Because you're still not singing Things Go Better With Coke.

Ever your friend,

Keez

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Oct 23, 2006 12:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

Awesome Ian - never read that before - real cool find :)thanks man for posting that !!

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Oct 23, 2006 12:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

right on you beat me to the punch,i just whipped out the old rolling stones book garcia that they made after his passing,everybody should have this book,some great photos and along with kesey eulogy,some from hunter,santana and dylan to name a few.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 23, 2006 4:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

I've always liked Dylan's comments at the time of Jerry's death:

"There's no way to measure his greatness or magnitude as a person or as a player. I don't think eulogizing will do him justice. He was that great - much more than a superb musician with an uncanny ear and dexterity. He is the very spirit personified of whatever is muddy river country at its core and screams up into the spheres. He really had no equal. To me he wasn't only a musician and friend, he was more like a big brother who taught and showed me more than he'll ever know. There are a lot of spaces and advances between the Carter Family, Buddy Holly and, say, Ornette Coleman, a lot of universes, but he filled them all without being a member of any school. His playing was moody, awesome, sophisticated, hypnotic and subtle. There's no way to convey the loss. It just digs down really deep." - Bob Dylan

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 23, 2006 3:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

thanks so very much for that ... i think i needed it in some way. very cool bro, very cool.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 22, 2006 1:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: R. Hunter -- partial interview circa 1986

cool, hadn't known about that sentiment of Jerry's. i think i respect him even more for it.

[call me a punk, but never a hippie]